A decade after the launch of the Red Radar, Bell & Ross is set to release the cult favourite, once again incarnated in the form of the BR03-92 Red Radar Ceramic. It retains the same quirkiness, expertly melded into its professional guise, as its predecessor did on the way to winning the hearts of many 10 years ago. In Bell & Ross’ portfolio of serious-looking tool watches, the Red Radar Ceramic stands out like a heat signature and finds itself comfortably nestled in the brand’s Flight Instruments collection.
The Flight Instruments collection consists of exclusive timepieces, inspired by instruments onboard jet planes, which is only to be expected given Bell & Ross’ inextricable links with aviation. Nostalgic pieces like the Turn Coordinator and Compass come to mind but none tugged heartstrings like the Red Radar. The Red Radar was added to the collection in 2011 a year after the release of the BR01 Radar. Bell & Ross banked on the innovative idea of using rotating discs for its time display. A year on, it incorporated a red sapphire crystal, earning its namesake and wrote itself into Bell & Ross folklore. The latest version has big shoes to fill but with a new execution and updates, it has the ammunition to do so.
A big giveaway is in its name, highlighting the ceramic case it now spots. The departure from PVD coated stainless steel seems natural given Bell & Ross’ recent aggressive foray into ceramic cases. We have waxed lyrical about ceramic cases; the comfort, lightness and many other desirable properties they offer and the Red Radar Ceramic checks all boxes. Though it is matte black, it still manages to exude sex appeal thanks to its accompanying red display.
Two shades of red are immediately discernible, with the brighter one tasked to outline the dial elements. Beneath it lie two concentric discs fused into the dial that serve as the watch’s handsets. Bell & Ross opts for a pair of stylised aeroplanes as opposed to traditional arrows or pointed hands: the passenger plane traverses the outermost scale indicating the hours while the fighter plane zips across the inner scale at a higher speed to represent the minutes.
A slim central hand spanning the dial radius evokes the radar sweep. To ensure movement efficiency and longevity, Bell & Ross manufactures the discs out of ultra-light materials. Further fine-tuning to the nearest micron was done to prevent unwanted friction from occurring. A total of 999 pieces of the BR03-92 Red Radar Ceramic are made available. Pre-orders can be made on the Bell & Ross e-boutique: www.bellross.com